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[Typescript Poem] What Has The Sea Swept Up

  1. 00018950_0001
  2. 00018950_0002

Mary Webb. “What has the sea swept up?” Typescript poem, one leaf, 8½″ x 6″, white wove paper. Twenty-four lines (typed in purple ink and on a typewriter not used for any other of Webb’s typescripts in this collection), six ink corrections. Typed at the bottom of the poem: “Mary Meredith Webb.” On verso, “The Shell” is written in pencil in the upper-left corner. This poem is an early version of Webb’s poem “The Shell,” first published posthumously in Poems and The Spring of Joy (1928). The two typescripts in the archive offer a rare opportunity to see the evolution of one of Webb’s poems. Caradoc Evans wrote in the Colophon (Winter 1938) that Webb thought more highly of her verse than of her novels and quoted Webb as saying: “‘You have no idea how hard I work over a poem. But stories—well, they just come to me and I write them without thinking and often I’m surprised at what I’ve written . . .’”